Melbourne City will hope for an Asian Champions League miracle to sneak into the continental tournament's knockout stages for the first time.
Aurelio Vidmar's charges threw away their chance to qualify immediately on Tuesday night when they conceded a 99th-minute equaliser in a 1-1 draw with Chinese club Zhejiang FC at Princes Park.
Japanese second-tier club Ventforet Kofu topped group H with a 3-2 win over Buriram United, leaving City needing to qualify as one of three best second-placed teams.
Further salt was rubbed in the wound when Ulsan drew with Kawasake 2-2 later on Tuesday night - meaning had City hung on, they would have guaranteed progression.
Ulsan have claimed one of the three best runners-up spots, with two up for grabs.
City, on nine points, likely now need already-qualified Bangkok United to beat Jeonbuk (nine points) in group F on Wednesday. City would then head Jeonbuk on goal difference (both are +2 at present but the South Korean club have scored more goals).
Also on Wednesday in group G, Incheon (nine points) play Kaya FC (zero) and Kevin Muscat's Yokohama F. Marinos (nine) play Shandon Taishan (12).
A point for either Incheon or Yokohama would clinch another berth. No other club is in contention.
Appropriately, a dramatic thunderstorm started over Princes Park as Vidmar pondered his team's fate.
"Yeah, well. It's a little bit hard now isn't it?" Vidmar said.
"So we're really going to rely on the results for us.
"But I think we did enough tonight (that we) should have taken those three points and we would have been sitting pretty tonight but we have to wait.
"Do a little bit of praying. Now the heavens have opened up - maybe that that's a sign for tomorrow as well."
Regardless of the outcome, Vidmar expected his charges to quickly bounce back ahead of Sunday's home clash with Central Coast at AAMI Park.
"Yeah, it hurts now, it'll hurt ... probably a good thing is that the game is only four days away and not a whole week," he said.
"You can stay on it for a long time but because of the games coming very very quickly on the weekend, we can't dwell.
"It's disappointing, yes, but you know what, we still got a hell of a lot to play for.
"Regardless if we if we get through great if we don't and we still have a long campaign to go and we need to start winning those games. as well to get ourselves into a good position."